Results of Nomination for EXMSS President 2015-2016

On behalf of the Executive, we were pleased to announce on the 2nd December 2014, we received one nomination for EXMSS President (2015-2016)

We invited current EXMSS members to read her personal statement, and permitted members to register their objections by 16th December 2014 (2 weeks) to the Returning Officer: exmssro@gmail.com

The Returning Officer advised the Executive Committee on the 17th December 2014, that no objections were received from the membership, therefore it is with pleasure that the Executive Committee announce the candidate, Megan Green is to be duly elected as EXMSS President (2015-2016).

The Committee will initiate discussions with Megan regarding terms, conditions and her official start start date in due course.

Thank you to Murray Kirk for overseeing the Returning Officer duties throughout this process.

Results of Nominations for EXMSS President (2015-2016) and EXMSS Maori Representative (2015)

On behalf of the Executive, we are please to announce we received one nomination for President (2015-2016).

We invite current EXMSS members to read her personal statement, and people can register their objections by 16th December 2014 (2 weeks) to the Returning Officer: exmssro@gmail.com

If no objections are received, the candidate would be duly elected on the 16th December 2014, if objections were received, we would have a round of postal/online voting between the announcement and the 30th (2 weeks) members could ask the candidate questions on Facebook or the blog and they would answer on the same forum.

We did not receive any expressions of interest to fulfil the Maori Representative position, and therefore remains vacant until the Executive decide to fulfil the postition in 2015, or if at a later date a member indicates their interest to fulfil the role.

 

Personal Statement: Megan Green

 

MGI believe I have the skills to make a good president of EXMSS and start to make the society’s presence more visible on campus, to begin to rebuild a profile for the society that shows it to be proactive in helping extramural students get the best from their relationship with Massey. I believe this visible and active presence is essential to help students regain trust in EXMSS after the 2013 problems, but also to fill the hole in services to extramurals which has existed since the university took over their provision. I have demonstrated my interest in and engagement with the society over the past few years. While a student I regularly attended AGMs and was active in the group who called for the no-confidence SGM, and have attended every meeting since, usually assisting with keeping the attendance register. I have also been active on the EXMSS Facebook group. I would like to strengthen the connection between EXMSS, the University and student associations, and I would do this by working in full cooperation with current and newly elected executive committee. I especially value the experience and advice of the current committee, who have worked so hard to re-establish the credibility of the Society since the SGM.

 

 

In terms of the skills I bring to the role, I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Communications degree, and have extensive experience in hospitality, which has given me practice at interacting positively with the public, including in difficult or confrontational situations. I have stage managed Summer Shakespeare, Festival of New Arts and productions for Creative Processes summer school contact courses – all of which are complex projects calling for skills in organisation – with many elements to be juggled as well as time management, and people skills. In these roles I was working mainly with students, often extramurals. I am keen to develop further skills and would be prepared to undertake any further training the Society/executive consider appropriate to the role. I am also planning to enrol for Honours papers if I can fund them.

 

If elected, I would like to demonstrate to students that the problems the Society have experienced are in the past and that it is now actively working again to address the issues and needs of extramural students. I will do this by keeping the students up to date on the progress of the society on the websites, forums, Facebook and making sure the society has a presence during the contact courses and clubs days.

 

I would like the chance to move the society forward and would be enthusiastic for the chance to work more closely with extramural students.

 

Finally, I need to address what might be perceived as a conflict of interest. My mother, Joy Green, is currently a co-opted member of the executive committee. However, I do not believe this to be an issue with my candidacy, as she has already specified that she will be stepping down on appointment of a President, whoever is appointed. Further, to avoid any conflict on her part she has not been involved with my nomination in any way.

 

Video of the EXMSS Annual General Meeting 2014

The minutes for this EXMSS AGM meeting are now available.

The meeting was held at the AgHort building (Room AH1) at Massey and covered business originally scheduled for the cancelled meeting on September 5 2013, together with reports on progress within the Society since the Special General Meeting on October 19th.

Please note that the Annual General Meeting was originally scheduled to be held on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 12 noon but was closed after it failed to reach quorum (more information can be found here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/9132894/President-comes-under-fire).

DOCUMENTS

The agenda for the AGM is available here.
The draft EXMSS constitution for discussion is available here.
Minutes for the 2013 EXMSS SGM are available here.
Minutes for the 2014 EXMSS AGM can be found here.
The Annual Report can be viewed/downloaded from here.
In addition, the Annual Report from the EXMSS Vice-President, Maori can be downloaded from here.

 

If you experience difficulty viewing this webcast use our Stand-alone Player
This webcast requires Silverlight ( WIN | MAC ) or Pipelight ( Linux )

 

16th December 2013 Co-President’s Update

image-for-tiriCongratulations to everyone that graduated in Palmerston North two weeks ago. What a massive occasion and thank you to the city of Palmerston North for coming out in force to support the University and the graduands. As a graduate myself, it was an amazing feeling to be amongst people who are keen to celebrate success in a positive way. I was most honoured to be able to receive my tohu from Dr Russell Ballard, Chancellor of the University Council. Having worked alongside Dr Ballard for three years as a fellow Council member, he demonstrated leadership, inspiration and dedication to a job that can be challenging when faced with having to balance what is best for the University, alongside how the Government expects Universities to operate while producing some of the country’s most talented and highly sought after graduates.

In regards to progress at EXMSS, I recently had the opportunity to enter the EXMSS Office and obtain some background information in regards to Executive minutes and records, petty cash transactions, membership list, and sorting the inwards mail and creditors.

The next step for the Executive is to go through the previous minutes for 2013 and review the decisions made by the previous Executive.

Whilst the University respect the decision of the members at the SGM, and are willing to communicate with Mark and I in good faith, we are seeking finality to the process by way of obtaining a legal opinion. There has been one challenge only in the most general terms ‘that the meeting did not comply with the society’s rules, by the lawyer representing Jeannette Chapman, in a staff related matter. We’ve asked him to specify precisely what rules he believed were not complied with, so that we can demonstrate constitutional compliance. We are still awaiting his response.

Mark and I were also recently invited to participate in a teleconference with members of the Extramural Students’ Support Trust (ESST). This sub trust was set up by EXMSS in 2011 to hold funds for all extramural students, to be distributed annually by way of scholarships. This was the first notification where Mark and I were made aware that the previous president and member Lyn Harris-Hogan had initiated plans to wind down EXMSS and transfer all of EXMSS assets (including the ESST funds) and liabilities to the Massey Extramural Students’ Trust (MEST), a trust set up by Jeanette Chapman in October 2013. The Trustees of the MEST are Jeannette Chapman, Joseph Mwingira and Phillip Kennard and they cannot be removed by members. The ESST has contested the authority in which MEST purports to hold, and have sought further clarification from Mark and I in regards to the SGM processes and outcomes. We have been given some tasks to fulfil, namely to seek a legal opinion on the processes and outcomes and to also issue a statement to lawyers and accountants purporting to represent EXMSS, the Police and MEST.

Last week we met with the Executive Committee to discuss the outcome of the nomination for President 2014, objects of the society in 2014, membership in 2014, annual report for January 2014 AGM, NZUSA updates, objectives for each Executive Committee member for 2014 and most importantly, finalisation of the information to be sent to validate the SGM processes and decisions.

We are also happy to announce and welcome Joy Green to the Executive Committee. Joy brings her background experience with EXMSS in regards to convening to October SGM, as well as her ability to communicate well and articulately to a range of audiences.

Thank you all for your patience and please know we are working hard to resolve these issues as soon as we can.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season

Tiri Porter

Nominated Executives for 2014

These are the Nominated EXMSS Executives for 2014. There are Two Northern North Island, Southern North Island and South Island representatives and a Vice President position. Each Nominated Executive has been asked to provide an image of them self and a short biography. If there are any questions, please feel free to comment below in the comments box.

MANDY WARD

Northern North Island.

My name is Mandy Ward and I live in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. I completed a Graduate Diploma in Emergency Management (Distinction) as an extramural student. Studying via this mode has meant that I have developed flexibility in managing my personal and professional life whilst gaining a valued qualification. I have really appreciated the great support from my family and the Massey community throughout my study and feel that I can provide the same for other students.

I am the EXMSS Area Representative for the Tauranga area, a voluntary position that I have held since 2009. I greatly enjoy assisting students and am inspired by the way so many achieve their goals through hard work and persistence.

As well as my knowledge I would like offer EXMSS my governance experience. I have 15 years of experience as a School Trustee, fulfilling roles including treasurer, parent and teacher representative.

As your EXMSS Executive, I would work hard to find effective ways to represent extramural students in our area. I am interested in finding ways in which we as a student body can improve communication amongst ourselves and with the university. I am committed listening to your needs and to enhancing the value that EXMSS has had for students over the years.


PAMELA HIGGINS

Northern North Island.

The expertise and experience I bring to the EXMSS committee table is as follows:

I bring first-hand experience and the requisite skills having served on the EXMSS committee as Vice President from 2004 – 2009. I have high expectations of myself and others and have a reputation for fair and just process; I’m prepared to ask and address the hard questions.

I have been a strong advocate for the distance learning mode since my first connection with Massey, as a student in 1983. I demonstrate my support of EXMSS through continued membership and by volunteering as an Area Rep (EAR). Being of service is a strength I wear proudly and being a part of EXMSS is one of the many ways I give service to education.

I have been EXMSS Area Rep for the Greater Auckland area for over 10 years and now serve the Hamilton area as well. I have made contact with, and assisted, hundreds of students over the years. My focus is the provision of quality support to address students’ learning needs. While involved with EXMSS I have contributed to professional development of Area Reps and Exec in many areas including: providing service, the role of EARS in student support, ways to support students’ study, and service to Maori.

I model lifelong learning having tertiary learning experience spanning three decades and having graduated with major degrees from three different universities. Currently I am a PhD candidate at Massey University and a Registered Psychologist. I am standing for the committee again because of the experience I can bring to EXMSS in the current climate of challenge and change. My knowledge of educational systems and distance learning at Massey ensures a sound foundation for the representation I will provide.


ANGELA LALONDE

Southern North Island.

Hello,
My name is Angela Lalonde and I am in my first year of the Masters of Applied Social Work program. I study extramurally as I live in Napier with my husband and three year old daughter. I am originally from Canada however, my husband and I decided to move to New Zealand and make it our home in 2010 shortly after our daughter was born. In Canada, while attending a four year Bachelor of Arts program I was elected to the Graduation Chair Person position of the Student’s Association Committee in my final year. My role was mainly representing and advocating for the graduating classes.

After graduating I moved overseas to South Korea to teach English in the public school system and I was offered the position of District head teacher of the Native Speaking English Teachers where I worked endlessly advocating for their rights. I was the liaison between the teachers, their schools, principals and the district supervisor. I am passionate about fairness, justice and equality and I work hard to ensure those ideals are upheld.

Moving into the Social Work industry has further confirmed my dedication to advocacy. I have a strong interest in New Zealand politics and policy, especially around education and I would be excited to have an opportunity to enter into a position that has the ability to affect change within the Massey environment. I have first hand knowledge of negotiation and representation of several view points and I would be a tireless advocate for the extramural students of Massey.
Thank you.


ROWENA HAWEA HARVEY

Southern North Island.

Kia ora,

My name is Rowena Hawea Harvey. I am a Massey Postgraduate business student. Some years ago, I first enrolled as an internal student at Massey Palmerston North. At that time, I had come from a background working in the performing arts in Wellington. I wanted to diversify my options and expand my skills into film production (script writing, directing and producing). After receiving encouragement from my Massey drama lecturer and tutor, I applied to the University of Technology in Sydney. I was surprised to find out I was accepted, as it was and still is a fiercely competitive degree.

UTS gave us a great introduction to the art and craft of making short films and documentaries. That combined with film analysis provided us with a deeper understanding of film. After returning to New Zealand I founded an international short film festival, Drifting Clouds (DC). DC acted as a platform for up and coming film directors. Apart from showing their films to a wide audience, the festival provided networking opportunities between the filmmakers and creative industries, which in turn led to job opportunities. Many of the former winners from the DC film competition (held annually by the film festival) are now successful young directors and producers working in television, advertising, and the film industry.

After project managing DC, I returned as an internal student at Massey University. In 2012, I completed a completed a Bachelor of Communication degree, with a major in Journalism & Communication Management. My last few papers were completed by distant study.

I support the EXMSS and the services it offers to students. As an extramural student I understand the barriers, the challenges, the difficulties and the rewards of distant study. It is no easy feat at times. Having the area representatives, the support staff, internet website, and free calling number are essential. I also enjoyed reading the print version of the OFF Campus Magazine. It was informative and engaging. I believe without EXMSS and its representatives the University and government would be less informed about how to improve the educational experiences of extramural students.

I have vivid memories of past lecturers, mentors, and students who made a difference in my life. I am grateful to them. I would enjoy being a representative on the EXMSS executive committee, as it would enable me to support other students, their needs, and their journey in higher education.

Kia kaha, Rowena

Background. I am originally from Bulls, Manawatu. My tribes and affiliations include Ngati Raukawa: Marae and hapu; Parewahawaha in Bulls. Ngati Kahungunu: Marae: Rongomaraeroa Porangahau. Other affiliations include Nga Puhi and Ngati-Toa. Ancestry: Italian, Irish, Scottish and Maori.


MARK LESTER

Vice President & South Island Rep

EXMSS belongs to you as members. It is my belief that the society can be looked on as an insurance policy sitting in the background protecting your rights as Massey students. Insurance policies have a habit of not being important until you need them. However, when you do need them you want peace of mind that the policy will serve the purpose you thought it would. It is my belief that best way of you as members and “owners” of EXMSS having peace of mind is transparency of the society operations. A number of students have expressed concerns over the “lack of transparency and accountability” concerning EXMSS operations during 2013.

If elected I undertake to restore the level of transparency and accountability which has traditionally been enjoyed by members of the society.
While most standing would claim to understand the needs of external students, my time as an external student has shown me one thing clearly, we are all different. As a result I see the role of a committee member is to make contact with other members are reflect their thoughts in decision making process.

A bit about myself. I have completed a BSS and Master degree during which I was a full and part time external student with a family. I have been on the executive in the past, as the treasure, and have a firm belief in the value of EXMSS to its members. Currently I am working on a 2nd masters (I need a life) while working as a Finance Manager and being a husband and father to my family. It is my belief that my professional background and experience will be a real asset to EXMSS in terms of ensuring that your interests in the society are well protected.

Government writes off worth of tertiary education for ‘older’ New Zealanders

nzusalogoPosted on May 16th, by NZUSA in NZUSA releases,

The Government’s obsession with putting a sinking lid on student support will hit the educational aspirations of all New Zealanders aged over 40 as a result of today’s Budget, says the NZ Union of Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“Today is a black day for the 1.4 million New Zealanders who are in that age group, and an even blacker day for more than half a million New Zealanders aged over 65 who may have sought higher education but will become ineligible for student allowance grants to help support their studies from next year,” says Pete Hodkinson, NZUSA President.

“Drastically cutting the length of time that adults aged between 40 and 64 can access this basic level of student support before taking on debt clearly penalises and discriminates against people on the basis of their age, at the same time as generally devaluing the worth of undertaking tertiary education.

“Even ignoring the blatant age discrimination the economics don’t really stack up. Our understanding is this decision is projected to make a negligible difference to the Government’s short-term finances, not even allowing for the cost of implementing the change.

“What this really exposes is a Government that is more focused on penny pinching than building any forward thinking momentum in our tertiary education system,” says Pete Hodkinson.

“It sends a signal to workers who have invested in the tax system throughout their lives that they can expect to be short-changed when they look to gain new qualifications at a higher level. The principle at stake here isn’t about the estimated number of people who will be affected, rather the principle at stake is that student support should be available to all students.

“It is particularly concerning that this decision is going to dampen opportunities for people to contribute to New Zealand’s economy and society when they are just entering their prime years of activity in the workforce.

“It makes even worse sense to deny second learners who are working towards a second chance qualification, people generally without deep financial reserves or who may be recovering from a redundancy or similar, from pursuing new opportunities in the workforce”.

NZUSA is seeking more information on the analysis of the 925 people expected to be directly affected by the student allowance cuts in 2014. Concerns have already been received from student associations about students who will still be completing studies when the 120 week student allowance limit is applied. Without any transitional period they may be forced to drop out of their studies.

Stream Upgrade: please be worth it

Massey has upgraded its Online Learning Environment – Stream. The upgrade to Stream² provides enhanced tools and is better able to cope with our changeable technology environment. This upgrade, which is part of the University’s commitment to ensuring its students have access to high quality teaching and learning facilities, was essential.

What? No Stream?

While there is no ideal time to upgrade a critical system such as Stream, the Summer School period was chosen because of the relatively low number of papers that run over this period. There are still a small number of Summer School papers that are still to be opened, but if you are looking for first, double or second semester sites then login through http://stream1.massey.ac.nz.

As with upgrades of this size it is not unusual to have some teething problems. Massey has been working hard to resolve Stream site problems and as a student advocate I have seen a passion for getting it sorted in the staff at the coal-face. Massey has learned from this exercise and has committed to work with Massey and student media to better inform students of planned upgrades in future.

 While the look and feel of the new version remains relatively familiar there are some obvious enhancements that will not only save time but also make the learning experience richer and more rewarding.  One of the stand out features is drag and drop functional which allows you to drag a file from your computer into Stream, this could be real time saver when it comes to assignment file uploads.

Integration with other Stream tools such as myPortfolio and eventually virtual classrooms (Adobe Connect) are also new, along with a mobile theme which will allow those using tablets or other mobile devices to interact with Stream in way that it is suited to their device.

 The Stream Guide has been redesigned and includes instructions on how to use some of the most commonly used Stream tools. It also has information on how to request print versions of digital material and a browser-check page that tells you whether you are have the right equipment to get the best out of Stream.

 If you have an issue with your Stream site post on the facebook extramural community site, or send an email to me, Ralph@exmss.org.nz. Look out for more information on the Stream upgrade in the Massive and the Off Campus magazines.

Review the TES Priorities: a letter to the Minister

Dear Minister Joyce,

Recent public discussion of the effectiveness and suitability of New Zealand’s tertiary education has raised concerns about indebted young graduates leaving for better paid work overseas, and financial penalties for institutions with significant numbers of part time students. These issues are a product of our Tertiary Education Strategy.

The TES focus on youth, coupled with capped funding, is pushing school leavers to indebt themselves through University study rather than gain valuable employment skills, life experience and resources in preparation for a well-considered education choice.

The punitive action of penalising institutions which offer courses for students who are working and studying, often as  second chance learners, sends the message that not only is part time study inefficient, but that distance and web-based learning (the predominant mode for part time university studies) is somehow inferior to traditional on-campus teaching and learning.

Web-based, part time, and distance learning is growing exponentially around the world. For many it is seen as the basis for an emerging internationalisation and democratisation of tertiary education. Yet in New Zealand investment is focused on internal delivery to full time students.

Tertiary investment in New Zealand is conflicted by environmental and legislative conditions. The TES, with its priorities of full time youth, coupled with a capped funding environment and penalties for non-performance, means that scarce resources which could be used to develop New Zealand’s position as an offshore deliverer of tertiary education are pumped into students, who at age 17 become indebted to the state and leave New Zealand when they graduate.

Better would be to equally prioritise part time students, who demand a more developed web-based teaching and learning model; who have 80 per cent less loan uptake; who have stronger connections between their study and their work; and who have a higher tendency to remain in New Zealand following graduation.

In a response to my concerns you have cited that “universities are autonomous institutions and can therefore make decisions about what programmes to offer, and how to offer them[1].” However with a policy setting of full time youth, capped funding, penalties for non completion based on internal student timeframes, and expectations of a return on investment, this statement is clearly incorrect. Universities are constrained by the priorities of the TES and this is affecting where and how they invest their resources.

I feel Government has failed in its responsibility to evaluate the options in tertiary provision and outline a tertiary education strategy that takes New Zealand forward. I would like to discuss the Tertiary Education Commission’s priority settings with you.

Steven Joyce, I am asking you as the Tertiary Education Minister to call for a review of the Tertiary Education Commission’s priority settings for tertiary education so a more balanced approach to tertiary education can be developed.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ralph Springett

EXMSS Membership Pays Back

The latest Government published figures rank Massey as the poorest performer due to its part time distance students. These students are predominantly adult women and second chance learners.

The message behind these performance figures is that part time and distance study is a poor relation to traditional on-campus delivery. The TES adds to this by saying adults (who are predominant in distance study) are not a priority to educate at university level.

EXMSS believes distance, part time and adult students are being treated as second class students by the Government. EXMSS will continue to put pressure on the Government to review the priorities of the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES).

EXMSS has positioned itself as the voice of distance, part time and adult students in New Zealand. Associate members need not be students at Massey. So, anyone wishing to support the EXMSS stance can be part of the voice.

EXMSS is the only university student association seeking a subscription for membership in 2013. This is not only because distance students have particular needs, such as transport to and from contact courses, scholarships, and an independent voice on campus to advocate on their behalf. It is so distance, part time and adult students can collectively lobby the Government for change.

That said, it is important there are immediate benefits of membership that students can use. For this reason EXMSS has partnered with Studentcard to provide discounts, deals and prizes regardless of where you live in New Zealand. Normal membership of EXMSS provides benefits such as free shuttles and access to scholarships, from November it will also offer a Studentcard at a discounted rate: $15 instead of $20.

The aim is to provide at a reasonable cost, a set of benefits that will be appreciated and used by student members, while supporting an independent voice advocating for a review in the misguided TES priorities.

Fees Rise for 2013

Massey Council has confirmed a fee rise for 2013 courses. Tuition fees will rise 4%, the maximum allowed, and the student services fee will be inflation adjusted – a 1.6% rise.

Comparatively, Massey students are paying similar, if not lesser amounts to students at other institutions. Massey students are financially better off if they are an undergraduate student or doing postgraduate research. In these broad groups Massey’s fees are significantly less than other universities. Not the case for postgraduate taught papers where Massey’s fees are higher than the sector average.

The student services fee gets a mild increase following the last two years of hefty rises. In my view distance students get the best deal at Massey. The academic support services are high quality and relevant, and the fee is less than half the amount internal students pay. For all full time internal students the student services levy for 2013 has risen from $516 to $524.

The student services fee includes the building levies for each campus. With its new student amenities building and the recreation centre still being paid off, it sucks to be an Albany internal student. Although the Albany library, gym, bar, and student amenities building are all fantastic for students, it is the first few generations of students who foot the lions share of the repayment. Albany internal students pay one of the highest student services levies in the country, just under $1,000.

The Council also agreed that an exception should be sought from the TEC to allow Massey to bring its fees up to the sector average. There was agreement that this would be unlikely to succeed but that is was useful for maintaining an awareness of the issue.

EXMSS: your voice on campus